Wanted by the Devil

By: Joanna Blake

Someone was following her. Again.

It was a perfect day. A warm, early summer day in the middle of June. The sun was shining, the birds were singing.

Kaylie picked up her pace and hurried down the hill toward North Avenue. She had just picked up her diploma and was carrying it home, along with the contents of her locker. Graduation had been a week ago but she’d had to skip it, just like she skipped a lot of things. Sometimes it seemed like all she did was work. School work, homework, house work, work work. She'd been out the last few weeks of high school due to mono but her grades had carried her through. She was an excellent student thank God so her teachers had been lenient.

Mono. What a joke.

They called mono the kissing disease. Like anyone ever kissed her.

It wasn't like she was unattractive. Kaylie knew she was cute. Hot even. With long light brown hair and big brown eyes, and tawny golden skin she knew she had a pretty face. The kind you see in magazines even, with pouty lips and high round cheek bones. Her body was curvy too, despite walking literally everywhere due to a lack of wheels. Her large breasts had made her feel embarrassed when she’d first got them a few years ago. Big and perfectly circular over her absurdly tiny waist and long legs. Her body made her look older in a way that belied her innocence. But she was innocent. Painfully so.

Halfway through her junior year, all the boys in school had abruptly left her alone. They didn't just stop flirting with her or trying to get her to go out with them, they started avoiding her gaze, even pretending that she didn't exist.

It was weird.

Even Janet had said something. Before the sudden change it had been Kaylie who got all the attention from boys. Suddenly it was just the opposite, with her loud mouthed best friend having a date every weekend, not her. Janet was realllllly helpful, just saying that they must have found out about her cooties. Still, they’d both caught the shift, so Kaylie knew she wasn’t imagining it.

That was around the same time she'd started noticing the bikes. Wherever she went, whatever time of day, it seemed like there was always a bike behind her. Not just a bike. A bike.

It wasn't so crazy to see hogs around. She did live in California. And her town was the epicenter of one of the biggest clubs in the state. But still. It was weird.

She glanced over her shoulder and saw a huge old school motorcycle driving slowllllly up the street behind her. He wasn’t looking at her. In fact, he was looking everywhere but at her.

Who knew bikes could even go that slow? And why would he if he wasn’t following her.

It was definitely weird.

It had all started when she was serving the counter at Mae's, the diner that everyone still called the soda shop. It had been there since the 1950’s, more or less unchanged. She'd worked there since the age of 14 when her mother had insisted she get a job if she wanted to go to college someday. It was out of their reach otherwise, but she’d promised Kaylie would be able to go, no matter what. If she worked hard, at school and elsewhere.

Kaylie had taken her mother’s advice to heart, and her mother had been true to her word, helping Kaylie save her money for school and making sure the bare necessities were met at home. But it's not like she could afford to buy all the cute outfits that some of the girls at school wore. She had learned to stick to the basics and buy one or two things a year that could go with anything. One pair of jeans, one skirt, one plain blouse, one sweater. That was it. Her wardrobe was not extensive or trendy but it worked as long as she limited the colors she bought. Pink, navy, white, denim. She didn’t look frumpy but sometimes she longed to just go to the mall and pick out whatever she wanted. Someday...

It hadn't stopped guys from asking her out in droves though, not until Junior year anyway. She’d just started dating when she could, in between shifts at Maes and working extra hard to make the honor roll. True, she hadn’t had a lot of time, but there had been plenty of offers. An absurd amount really. She'd gone out with a few of the boys at school but never let any of them get past first base though. And now, nada.

It’s not like she wanted to get pawed in the backseat of a camaro. But it was hard wondering what was wrong with her. Why she was the only girl in school who’d never had a boyfriend… or a prom date. Not that she could have gone to the prom with mono!

She sighed. What was even the point anymore? It’s not like any of those high school boys compared to him.

Devlin McRae.

It had taken some doing, but she'd found out the name of the guy who’d started coming in almost every time she worked a shift. The guy with the tousled blond hair and green eyes. The guy who looked rough, like he had a past, but who was always polite and left her absurdly large tips.